MAY 4, 1942
HYDE PARK. Sunday—Yesterday in New York City started bright and early, for at 9:15 I was due at 120 East 86th Street to meet with a group of Girl Scouts. The owner of an empty store has donated its use to them and they are busy gathering salvage of many kinds.
Where they can make useful articles, they are setting up work tables and doing so. The other things they are turning over to the proper salvage agencies. They gave me a charming May basket, which one of the little girls kindly offered to take down to my apartment, since I could not quite see how I could manage the rest of the morning carrying a basket of flowers.
At 10:00 o'clock, I faced an audience of high school and young college students at the Ethical Culture Society. It was the last of a series of lectures during which these young people had considered the obligations of democracy from many aspects.
On leaving there, I had time to run into Holland House to see Hendrik Willem Van Loon's original drawings for the new edition of Erasmus' Book: "The Praise of Folly." I enjoyed them, but liked particularly the painting of Mr. Van Loon himself. If no one had been looking I might have walked away with it.
Then I did a recording for the use of the Children's Bureau and reached home in time to have a few guests for lunch. Late in the afternoon, Miss Thompson and I reached Hyde Park by train.
I see by the paper this morning that shortly we are not going to be allowed to indulge ourselves by having comfortable accommodations on the train, such as private rooms at night and lounge cars in the daytime. I shall certainly miss the private rooms at night, but I imagine that I can adjust quite easily. As far as the daytime goes, I have always found the coach really more comfortable than the parlor car, so that won't bother me.
We spent most of last evening unpacking and trying to put away various things which we had sent up from New York to the cottage. Now, in a few minutes, I am going over to the big house to make a beginning on the unpacking of the various things which I have sent up there.
The country is unbelievably lovely. All the fruit blossoms are out and the dogwood is beginning to bloom. The foliage still has the bright green of spring and the the fairylike, feathery look which trees have before their leaves are completely out. The moon shone on my sleeping porch in full glory last night.
We need rain badly. Even though the sky is gray and hazy this morning, I do not feel that it is sure to come. We shall just have to go on praying for it.